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Spain’s paper recycling efforts is ‘among the world’s elite’

Spain – A total of 78% of all paper consumed in Spain was recycled in 2015 ‘€“ while collection of paper for recycling reached 4.6 million tonnes. To highlight the crucial role played by Spanish municipalities in this success story, 29 local authorities in 12 autonomous regions across Spain received recognition for their contribution to paper and board collections at the Blue Birdies 2017 Awards held recently in Madrid.

At the event, Spain’s environment minister Isabel García Tejerina praised the efforts made in recent years by a ‘highly specialised’ paper business sector, adding that the involvement of local councils and the awareness of their citizens have proved essential.

‘Municipal councils and citizens form a tandem on which this formula for success pivots, so it is essential that we support their efforts,’ she stated. Enrique Isidro, president of Spanish paper industry body ASPAPEL, highlighted the success of such joint efforts and commitment.

‘The collaboration between administration-citizen-industry, the strength and efficiency of our collection systems, the information given out by the media, and our paper industry’s recycling capacity have resulted in a highly-efficient selective collection system, with collection and recycling rates that place us amongst the world’s elite,’ he said.

The autonomous regions of Andalusia, Castilla y Leon and Catalonia each counted five local authorities among the prize winners; Madrid had four while Aragon and Castilla-La Mancha had two. At the same time, there was one each for Asturias, the Balearic Isles, Galicia, La Rioja, Navarre and the Basque Country. Promoting recycling is one of ASPAPEL’s strategic objectives.

In 2002, it launched its Tu Papel Es Importante project and subsequently its Tu Papel 21 programme, a scheme for assessing, implementing improvements and certifying municipal selective paper and board collection systems.

This project won the European Paper Recycling Award in 2007, an accolade that recognises innovative projects for promoting paper recycling in Europe.

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